Delivery timelines for all 2040 projects needed now
Cork Chamber tonight celebrated 200 years of championing business at its annual dinner held in Cork City Hall.
Attended by guest of honour President of Ireland Michael D. Higgins, the event saw over 1,000 leading business and political figures come together to mark the bicentenary.
In his address, Bill O’Connell, President of Cork Chamber, reflected on the past, present and future, not only of Cork Chamber, but of the business community in Cork, and the leaders that have been responsible for its development over the past 200 years.
The overarching message from Bill O’Connell was that the State must not hinder progress of the business community. Referencing the famous quote by former Chamber President Charles Stewart Parnell, Mr. O’Connell emphasised:
“Our past President Parnell said ‘No man has the right to say to his country ‘thus far shalt thou go and no further’. Today I say clearly that the state must equally not say to the business community ‘thus far shalt thou go and no further’.”
“We need absolute clarity and transparency on the delivery timelines for all projects in the capital plan and Ireland 2040 and we need them now.”
Highlighting the legacy of campaigns by past Chamber Presidents, including the opening of Passage-Cork railway line in 1850, access to international mail routes in the late 1800s, and economic destination marketing in the 1960s, technologies have changed yet the key business needs that enable a successful and prosperous Cork region remain the same.
“From Blackrock trains to transatlantic planes, the changes in Irish life, business and society over 200 years are immeasurable. But their significance will be measured in the fullness of time relative to events that have yet to unfold. Relative to how we shape our city region physically, culturally, economically, environmentally and socially.”
Concluding, Mr. O’Connell called on Government to provide absolute clarity and transparency on the delivery timelines for all projects in the National Development Plan and Ireland 2040:
“Today’s best isn’t good enough for tomorrow. The plans that are set out in Ireland 2040 offer a once in a lifetime opportunity to change Cork over the next 20 years but if they stay in print alone they are nothing but aspirations. Reflecting on our history, it is clear that we must display both the vision of those who came before us, but most critically their ability to deliver.“